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Cock rings for dummies (and everyone else)

There’s more than one way to put a ring on it. Here’s everything you need to know to get harder for longer — and do it safely — with a cock ring.

Cock rings. For a lot of guys, the god-like erections and superior staying power they offer make them a staple in the bedside bottom drawer. But for others, they can be a mysterious and slightly intimidating sex accessory. Where do you wear it? How does it work? When do you put it on?

Like anything else you do with your hard-on, it’s worth getting all the information before you commit. And in this case, it can make the difference between a great night in the bedroom and a bad night in the emergency room.

Luckily, we’re here to help you make the right decisions to get the hardest and hottest erection of your life — safely.

1. Understanding the mechanics

A cock ring works with the mechanism that gets you hard in the first place: blood gets pumped into your penis, and a series of valves slows down the return flow. This fills the erectile tissue in your shaft and gives you the hot, throbbing hard-on you and your buddies love so much.

A cock ring supports this cycle by further restricting blood flow back out of the penis, giving you a harder cock for longer.

2. Be prepared

An erection you can’t get rid of is a medical emergency. Unless you want to be showing your swollen junk to the triage nurse at 3am, be prepared with everything you need to remove the cock ring BEFORE you put it on.

Always lubricate the cock ring first so that it’s easy to take off (silicone-based lube is the best choice — water-based lube won’t last, and oils can damage condoms). Choose a cock ring you can remove easily, either with a built-in release like Velcro or snap-fasteners, or with scissors — be very careful when cutting anything that’s attached to your genitals.

3. Work out where you want it

There’s more than one way to put a ring on it.

Balls out

While you’re still soft/semi-hard, slip the cock ring over the tip of your cock and slide it down to the base of your shaft, above the balls. This is the easiest way to put on and wear a cock ring, but it can make it harder to roll a condom all the way down — the cock ring ideally shouldn’t be touching the condom (see point 6 below). It also runs the risk of getting too slippery with lube/other gooey fluids and sliding off before the action starts.

Balls in

While you’re still soft/semi-hard, lift up your penis and slide your balls through the ring, one at a time. Once they’re both through, slip your dick through as well, so the ring sits all the way behind your scrotum. This position will keep the cock ring securely on and holds it further back, so it won’t slide off or get in the way of putting on a condom.

4. Get your measure: remember C=π.D

For a cock ring to do its job, it needs to fit properly, so you need to measure your girth.

Fortunately, you learned how to do this in high school geometry. Get something flexible you can measure, like a strip of paper or a shoelace. While you’re still soft, wrap the strip around your shaft in the place you want to wear your cock ring. Measure this length (the circumference) and divide by three (close enough to pi) for your correct cock ring size.

5. Choose the right ring for your rod

Cock rings come in a whole bunch of different types.

  • Rubber/soft plastic rings are cheap and safe (you can cut them with scissors if you get into trouble). They have a little bit of stretch too, so they’re comfortable to wear. They can break though, so get more than one.
  • Leather/synthetic straps are adjustable and easy to use. A good choice for beginners, but make sure you keep them clean.
  • Vibrator rings and attachments are readily available from sex shops and can add a little something extra to your play session.
  • Metal, glass and hard plastic rings are available and popular, and they look great, but be aware of the risks when considering them. If a solid cock ring gets stuck, you and the ER team are going to have a very long night. If you don’t like the idea of an angle grinder near your cock, definitely don’t use a metal one.
  • Improvised cock rings will do the trick when you don’t have a purpose-made one handy. You can use the base ring of a condom as a last-minute backup, but you may find it isn’t as tight as a regular rubber cock-ring. You can also use anything you can tie (like the shoelace from point 4) but be careful with pinching and/or chafing.

6. Cock ring first, then condom

Your cock ring will be great friends with pretty much anything else you put on your dick. A harder erection will make it easier to wear a condom, so aim to put the cock ring on first, get hard and then roll on the condom.

Ideally, the condom and cock ring should not be touching, and it’s not a good idea to put a cock ring on over the top of a condom. This is because the friction between the condom and the cock ring during sex can run the risk of tearing the condom.

7. Pay attention to how it looks and feels

A firm, comfortable, long-lasting hard-on is what you’re after. If you feel pain, if your cock turns an unusual colour (very pale or very dark), or if it looks unusually swollen, then take off the cock ring immediately. Same goes if you feel any numbness or coldness in your penis or balls.

Also, be aware that it’s not a good idea to piggyback other erection enhancers with a cock ring.

8. Set a time limit

You should aim to be wearing your cock ring for no more than half an hour, and only once every 24 hours. Any more than this can cause damage to the delicate valves and blood vessels in your cock. An erection lasting four hours or more is a medical emergency — go straight to the emergency room if this happens to you, with or without a cock ring.

And never, ever go to sleep with your cock ring on. Sleeping the night with a cock ring on can result in serious damage to your cock and your balls.

And that’s everything you need to know to power-up your erection with a cock ring! Now go get it hard any way you like, choose how you’re going to manage your HIV and STI risk, and enjoy the benefits.

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